It is hard to believe, but we have been in business for almost 16 years. Those years have gone very quickly. I’m not sure what our SPH has been but it’s pretty high! (SPH=Smiles Per Hour) Today, I stopped at a local business and as I was taking to the lady at the front desk, a young woman walked up to speak to someone else. She looked familiar but I was not totally certain who she was. Not wanting to interrupt either of our conversations, I remained silent. After she was gone, the lady with whom I was speaking confirmed that she was who I thought she was. Another former student, all grown up and making her way through adulthood.
A quick check of my records from the last 15+ years shows that we have worked with over 1200 students. Some of them have come and gone and come again over the years. Looking back through pictures for current and former students, I face a lot of questions. The main one is, “What are they doing now?” I have so many good memories of our students. My thanks goes out to all of the families who have allowed me to be part of the lives of their precious kids.
As the school year winds down and we move to our summer schedule, I am excited because I know some of last summer’s students will return and I’ll meet new students too. We have added several new students in the last two weeks and have a few more scheduled to start. If you would like to enroll your student for our summer program, feel free to contact me and we can get everything ready for a smooth transition.
Our building was built in 1923 in the Historic Edison District of Centralia. Its design incorporated elements of popular designs of the day, from the “dog-eared” ridges of its high roof to the wide, front porch with a 40″ wide front door, heavy corbels and semi-circular roof. For the first 83 years of its life it served as home to a few families. It was always well cared for and stood tall as many people traveled 1st Street between downtown and Fords Prairie.
In 2007, this fine, old home became the home of The Freeman Center. Today, it includes four classrooms (formerly known as Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom and Den). The long-neglected basement was renovated into a “Science Laboratory”. Today, it is not uncommon to see young students learning to read, older students working on math or language, high school students learning Algebra while a group of students are in the basement building rockets or Lego robots.
This is what happens when a guy has a shop, access to wood, a bit of free time and a wild imagination! The idea sprung from a discussion of geometry which included using the angles and proportions of a pencil to create problems for students to solve. A few weeks later, a giant pencil was born. It is 24′ tall and 2′ in diameter. The body is made from 12″x 1/2″ recycled cedar. The ferrule is three pieces of sheet metal, shaped and riveted together. The current eraser is made from a 40 gallon drum which was made in Greece. The current point was turned from laminated wood which was recycled from the pipes of a 1906 theater pipe organ. The tip is actually the end of a metal pipe from the same pipe organ. It is made from a zinc and lead alloy so it looks a lot like graphite!
Students who work hard at The Freeman Center not only improve their grades in school and develop skills and strategies to help them succeed in life but they can also earn “cruises” in vintage cars. They are invited to take friends and/or family members for the ride and stop for ice-cream along the way.
Along the way, the topics of conversation range from local history and old cars, to their hopes and dreams for their future. It is a time enjoyed by all.
We are looking for teachers! Our teachers are from the school of “Once a teacher, always a teacher!” They have had experience in public and private schools and still love teaching. If you want to revisit the joy of working with 2 or 3 students at a time in an invigorating, enjoyable place where creative teaching is encouraged, we’d love to show you around The Freeman Center. Schedules may range from 2 to 8 flexible hours per week.
Please call Steve @ 36O 269-2975